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5 benefits of extracting or mining your clinical lab data

February 14, 2022 | Daniel Doll
Clinical Lab Data

A powerful LIS makes it possible to organize, query, and extract data from a clinical laboratory’s comprehensive database. The Export module for CGM SCHUYLAB and the popular Data Miner for CGM LABDAQ allow structured and detailed access to data that can be used for state reporting, billing, quality control proficiency, evidence-based planning, and research.

Realize the benefits this would bring to your business, your employees, and your patients. See how the ability to access and report on laboratory data pushes us forward in the effort to synchronize healthcare around the world.

Clinical lab data export for state reporting

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the ability to export clinical lab data to state health departments has been the focus of much attention, but this concept benefits the public health in ways that go far beyond the recent pandemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “state laws and regulations require healthcare providers and laboratories to report events of public health importance for specified diseases to more than 50 state and local health departments.”

Phyllis Oberle, Sales Enablement Manager
We could report the required information for each case by exporting a .csv file to the health department every afternoon. It only took a couple minutes.

Phyllis Oberle, Sales Enablement Manager

The results help our nation track disease trends, identify outbreaks, and diagnose and treat people’s health conditions.

The developers of the CGM LABDAQ Laboratory Information System have helped labs nationwide to establish direct interfaces for reporting results to their local health departments.

For users of CGM SCHUYLAB, the Export option is up to the task.

“You could dial in to Maryland state using the CRISPR system and report your data patient by patient,” said Phyllis Oberle, a CGM SCHUYLAB Sales Enablement Manager and the former technical consultant for a highly complex COVID-19 testing lab in Burtonsville, Maryland. “But when you’re testing 2,000 patients and you’re required to report within 24 hours, that gets a little hairy.”

The Export option for the CGM SCHUYLAB Laboratory Information System was a necessity in Burtonsville.

Phyllis said, “We could report the required information for each case by exporting a .csv file to the health department every afternoon. It only took a couple minutes.” Additionally, an optional HL7 interface could have made this a completely automated process.

Mining clinical lab data to influence decision making and planning

It makes sense: on every level, access to data and past results improves the decision-making process in the healthcare industry.

With access to the right information, doctors can make educated diagnoses and patient-appropriate treatment plans. Governments can enact policies to improve the cost and quality of care affecting different demographics.

CGM LABDAQ is the leading laboratory information system in the United States. Intuitive. Secure. Scalable.
CGM SCHUYLAB is a trusted lab management solution. Scalable for POLs and reference labs; perfect for labs with in-house billing and the international market.

Central to decisions like these is laboratory data and the ability to access and extract that data from within a laboratory’s LIS.

Data Miner for CGM LABDAQ makes it easy for users to pull all kinds of clinical lab data out of their system, organizing the information that becomes key to the decisions made during every aspect of the patient journey.

“For example,” said Sandy Laughlin, a Sales Enablement Manager for CGM LABDAQ who served as the assistant supervisor for an immunology lab at the University of Maryland, “Data Miner queries can pull data to ensure that a lab’s patient population is getting tested when appropriate.”

“A common query is to pull abnormal PSA results for males over 40,” she said. “These patients can be called proactively to ensure that their annual PSA screen is performed.”

Users of both CGM LABDAQ and CGM SCHUYLAB can save the parameters of their queries to enjoy real-time access to useful information in the future with just the click of a mouse.

Using clinical lab data to report quality control proficiency

Quality control is critical to assuring authentic, reliable laboratory results.

The powerful CGM LABDAQ Laboratory Information System offers built-in functionality for running your lab’s quality control without the need to first enter an order. Integrated QC settings can prevent the release of lab results if your QC has not been run or if the results were unacceptable.

If your lab submits QC proficiency data to Bio-Rad Laboratories, for example, the Export option for CGM SCHUYLAB offers a simple solution.

“You can export whatever information you want to export. It’s not confined,” Phyllis said.

In this example, Bio-Rad receives your lab’s QC data and sends back reports that represent a huge database of people using the same kit on the same instrument.

“You can make sure your instrument is running the way that everybody else’s is,” Phyllis said.

Sandy Laughlin, Sales Enablement Manager
Data Miner queries can pull data to ensure that a lab’s patient population is getting tested when appropriate.

Sandy Laughlin, Sales Enablement Manager

Submitting claims with a billing data export

Labs have several options when it comes to receiving reimbursements. The most efficient option is to bring in the RCM experts of ARIA Health Services and leverage the clean claims rate afforded by the industry-leading eMEDIX clearinghouse.

Some labs choose to take on these administrative tasks themselves, aided by software such as the fully integrated billing option for CGM SCHUYLAB or the CGM DAQbilling Practice Management solution.

With CGM SCHUYLAB, the Export option allows users to create custom billing exports, and this can be very helpful for certain, specific situations.

Jim Myers is the CGM SCHUYLAB Services/Support Manager, and his team has helped clients create these kinds of custom exports.

“The most common reason for needing a billing export is to submit claims electronically to an insurance company or governmental agency outside of the US,” he said. “Other uses include exports to hospitals without a central HIS where an actual interface is not possible or feasible.”

These hospitals need a way to receive lab billing information for their own billing systems, and the CGM SCHUYLAB Export option transmits this data easily.

Besides billing, your lab can extract data relevant to other key performance indicators. Examine overall and/or individual test volumes, profit margins, and local market questions such as monthly testing volume per client, etc. The extracted data can be formatted as a familiar .csv file and imported into spreadsheets or databases for further review and analysis.

Exporting laboratory data to assist scientific research

As we’ve seen, the uses for clinical laboratory data extend well beyond the walls of the lab itself.

In his 2019 article, Dr. Massoud Hajia discussed the secondary uses of laboratory data, and that includes scientists analyzing laboratory information to better inform their research.

“In recent years, another type of secondary use of clinical records has been broadly applied,” he said. “This new usage is the integration of the local information to the large-scale database for a wider survey.”

By ensuring similar methods, specifications, and conditions, researchers can combine data from multiple laboratories to create a clearer picture of the trends and impacts being felt on entire regions, countries, and populations.

Synchronizing Healthcare

Synchronizing healthcare

The digitization and integration of healthcare systems has magnified the power and impact of laboratory data and helped us synchronize healthcare around the world.

For CompuGroup Medical, the leading vendor of laboratory information systems in the US, synchronizing healthcare means ensuring that no one should suffer or die just because at some point medical information was missing.

Through total connectivity and the ability to extract or mine laboratory data, labs across the US and around the world are synchronizing healthcare and improving the nature of patient care, quality control, operational efficiency, government response, and scientific research.

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